Rooh Afza dons a new avatar

By Snehojit Khan , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | March 17, 2016
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The ad contains an anthem sung by Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam

The 100-year-old health and wellness company Hamdard Laboratories has unveiled a new-360 degree campaign for its flagship brand Rooh Afza. The campaign, released as a TVC and on social media, will also be leveraged across print (newspaper and magazines) and outdoor media.

Lalach Ek Kala Hai

This new campaign for Rooh Afza -- a brand which has associated itself with natural freshness aims to reach out to the youth of the country who have aspirations, dreams, and an undying passion to achieve them. Rooh Afza wants to wear a new attitude to be in sync with the current times, speak the language of the youth, and re-ignite a passion in them.

From the communication point of view, the emphasis is clearly laid on highlighting the fact that Rooh Afza is a drink that not only quenches your thirst, but also fuels your ambitions. The campaign breaks the conventional barriers of the company's image and showcases Rooh Afza as a drink of today's youth, communicates with the youth in their own language, with their own insights and attitudes, and gives a twist to everyday situations to break stereotypes.

Changing the old saying of "Laalach Buri Bala hai" (Greed is the root of all evils) to "Laalach Ek Kala Hai" (Greed is an art), the campaign is based on a youth insight that today's young want much more out of life, and Rooh Afza is what quenches their thirst for more. The campaign, which has been conceptualised by Rediffusion Y&R, and is produced by Jigsaw Pictures, features a youth anthem sung by Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam.

Mansoor Ali

Mansoor Ali, chief sales and marketing officer, Hamdard, says, "Rooh Afza is a heritage brand, and comes with a lineage of being the only 'natural refresher'. While it has a huge set of loyal consumers, it has become critical to make this drink aspirational and 'cool' for the youth of today. The youth, with minds of their own and anti-stereotype attitudes need to see something which resonates with their lifestyles and out-of-box thinking. The twist we've taken on the age-old adage 'Laalach ek buri bala hai' to 'Laalach ek kala hai', symbolises the fact that the very act of greed can become an art, if done for others, or to follow your own passions."

According to Ali, the brand has adopted a more consumer-oriented approach although it did not want to play down the product-oriented approach taken by it all these years. "We now want to go for consumer-based marketing. This is also the reason why we have not signed any big name as the face of the brand. We wanted to connect well with the youth this time," says Ali.

This particular campaign has come after an interval of two years. Commenting on this, Ali says, "The last campaign ran for almost a year until the start of 2015. Thereafter, there was a lot of planning, and thinking, and consumer-oriented research. The campaign will run through the year so that the brand can be projected as more of a drink that can be consumed any time of the year rather than just during the summer season."

Pranav Harihar Sharma

Commenting on the length of the film and the target audience of the brand, he says, "The digital version of the ad is lengthy. Each situation showcased in the ad will form a separate TVC which will be a lot shorter in length. Rooh Afza has always had a loyal consumer base, a matured age group. But now, the brand wants to reach out to the youth along with the already created matured consumer base. So, our target audience will be in the age group of 16-35 years."

Pranav Harihar Sharma, executive creative director - West and North, Rediffusion Y&R, and the director of the film, says, "When an idea strikes, the biggest greed of an ideator is to present that in front of the world in the best possible manner. But, here my greed was manifold. As a writer and an ideator, my greed was to give 'laalach ek kala hai' a larger than life image."

Innovative and Fresh

Jayanto Banerjee

Jayanto Banerjee, national planning director, Hakuhodo Percept, feels the advertisement is really fresh. He says, "It is very refreshing communication from Rooh Afza after a long time. For the first time, Rooh Afza has moved beyond product and usage communication. Go Greedy is a very nice and strong thought. But, the execution doesn't push the thought."

According to Sidharth Shukla, head digital strategy and social media, Cheil India, the song is catchy. "I understand the brand is trying to connect with the audience, but I am not entirely sure if 'Greed' is the best representation of that space, but let's see how they continue to dial it up, which for me is an equally important area to focus on. A single film and some posts on social media is not going to be enough."

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